Dr Prabhakar Rajan

PhD, FRCS (Urol), FHEA
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Urology
Group Leader
Research Focus

My laboratory research explores alternative pre-mRNA splicing in prostate cancer (PCa) biology, and liquid biopsy-derived molecular biomarkers of treatment outcomes. My clinical research investigates chemo-preventative strategies to reduce low risk PCa progression, and surgical alternatives to cytotoxic chemotherapy for metastatic testicular cancer.

Key Publications

FOXA1 regulates alternative splicing in prostate cancer. Cell Rep (2022) 40(13):111404. PMID: 36170835

Androgen receptor burden and poor response to abiraterone or enzalutamide in TP53 wild-type metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. JAMA Oncol (2019) 5(7):1060-1062. PMID: 31046065

TP53 outperforms other androgen receptor biomarkers to predict abiraterone or enzalutamide outcome in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res (2019) 25(6):1766-1773. PMID: 30209161

Cell-free DNA profiling of metastatic prostate cancer reveals microsatellite instability, structural rearrangements and clonal hematopoiesis. Genome Medicine (2018) 10(1):85. PMID: 30458854

The effect of comorbidity on prostate cancer-specific mortality: A prospective observational study. J Clin Oncol (2017) 35(31):3566-3574. PMID: 28930493

Major Funding
  • 2021-2024 - NIHR/Health Education England Academic Clinical Fellowship, 'Machine learning-led prostate cancer liquid biopsy biomarker panel discovery,' ~£200,000 (Role: PI)
  • 2021-2024 - Barts Charity Large Project Grant, THERATEST (THERApy de-escalation in TESTicular cancer), £143,000 (Role: PI)
  • 2021-2023 - MRC DTP in Translational Immunology, Inflammation and Cancer, 'Identification of splicing-driven putative neoantigens using proteomics informed by transcriptomics', £80,000 (Role: PI)
  • 2020-2022 - Barts Charity Small Project Grant, 'Exploiting PTEN Loss in Hypoxic Tumour Cells,' ~£48,000 (Role: PI)

     

Other Activities
  • 2019 to date- Member: National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Germ Cell Tumours Research Group
  • 2019 to date- Member: NCRI Advanced Prostate Cancer Research Group
  • 2019 to date- University College London Urology Clinical Academic Board
Research

My laboratory-based research programme explores a link between alternative pre-mRNA splicing (AS), a ubiquitous post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanism, and prostate cancer (PCa) phenotypes.  During AS, coding (exons) and non-coding (introns) regions of a gene are shuffled to create protein isoforms with different functions.  AS is regulated by trans-acting RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), and tightly coupled to transcription. We are studying the link between dysregulation of transcriptional and intracellular signalling processes and AS, mediated by RBPs. 

Our translational research examines how blood-derived liquid biopsy molecular biomarkers can be used to improve treatment outcomes for PCa patients. With NHS colleagues, we are investigating minimally-invasive surgical alternatives to chemotherapy for metastatic testicular cancer to reduce the therapy burden and toxicity. In collaboration with the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, we are exploring how minimally-toxic chemo-preventative strategies may reduce PCa progression on active surveillance.

Other Activities
  • 2019 to date- Member: National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Germ Cell Tumours Research Group
  • 2019 to date- Member: NCRI Advanced Prostate Cancer Research Group
  • 2019 to date- University College London Urology Clinical Academic Board
Major Funding
  • 2021-2024 - NIHR/Health Education England Academic Clinical Fellowship, 'Machine learning-led prostate cancer liquid biopsy biomarker panel discovery,' ~£200,000 (Role: PI)
  • 2021-2024 - Barts Charity Large Project Grant, THERATEST (THERApy de-escalation in TESTicular cancer), £143,000 (Role: PI)
  • 2021-2023 - MRC DTP in Translational Immunology, Inflammation and Cancer, 'Identification of splicing-driven putative neoantigens using proteomics informed by transcriptomics', £80,000 (Role: PI) 
  • 2021-2022 - Barts Charity Small Project Grant, Exploiting PTEN Loss in Hypoxic Tumour Cells (Principal Investigator) ~£48,000
  • 2020-2021- CRUK Barts Centre Development Fund, Exploiting PTEN loss in Hypoxic Tumour Cells (Principal Investigator), £10,000
  • 2018-2021- QMUL Life Sciences Initiative PhD Studentship, Understanding alternative splicing in human cancer by proteomics informed by transcriptomics (PIT) (Co-applicant with Professor Conrad Bessant), ~£80,000
  • 2017-2021- The Urology Foundation/The John Black Charitable Foundation Project Grant, Androgen receptor splice variants in prostate cancer (Principal Investigator), £249,999
Recent Publications

Understanding and managing the cardiovascular risks of androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer Atalar K, Rajan P Nature Reviews Urology (2023) 20(7) 3-4

Retzius-sparing technique independently predicts early recovery of urinary continence after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy Kadhim H, Ang KM, Tan WS et al. Journal of Robotic Surgery (2022) 16(7) 1419-1426

Feasibility of aspirin and/or vitamin D3 for men with prostate cancer on active surveillance with Prolaris® testing. Dinneen E, Shaw GL, Kealy R et al. BJUI Compass (2022) 3(2) 458-465
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/36267207

FOXA1 regulates alternative splicing in prostate cancer Del Giudice M, Foster JG, Peirone S et al. Cell Reports (2022) 40(7)

Safety of androgen therapy in men with prostate cancer Rajan P, Tharakan T, Chen R Best Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2022) 36(7)

Management of stage II seminoma: a contemporary UK perspective Alifrangis C, Nicol DL, Shamash J et al. Scottish Medical Journal (2022) 67(7) 126-128

Feasibility and safety of radical prostatectomy for oligo-metastatic prostate cancer: the Testing Radical prostatectomy in men with prostate cancer and oligo-Metastases to the bone (TRoMbone) trial Sooriakumaran P, Wilson C, Rombach I et al. BJU International (2022) 130(7) 43-53

HNRNPA2B1 controls an unfolded protein response-related prognostic gene signature in prostate cancer Foster J, Gea E, Labiba M et al. (2022) (18)

171 Developing & Centralising a Nurse-Led Local Anaesthetic (La) Transperineal (Tp) Biopsy Service During Covid: A Success Story Winters D, Mehmi A, Odedra A et al. British Journal of Surgery (2022) 109(10) znac039.102

Health-related quality of life and treatment-related side-effects in patients who have been in remission from testicular cancer for 12-24 months Cazzaniga W, Pearce A, Tanabalan C et al. EUROPEAN UROLOGY (2022) 81(11) S850-S850
https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000812320400560&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=612ae0d773dcbdba3046f6df545e9f6a

For additional publications, please click here
Team
PhD Students
  • Mr Esteban Gea (with Professor Conrad Bessant)
  • Miss Antara Labiba (with Professor Conrad Bessant)

 

Biography

Key qualifications

  • 2008 PhD (Prostate Cancer Biology), Newcastle University
  • 2012 FRCS(Urol.), Royal College of Surgeons of England
  • 2017 FHEA, Higher Education Academy

Recent appointments

  • 2008-2014 West of Scotland Training Programme in Urology
  • 2008-2013 Clinical Lecturer in Urology, University of Glasgow
  • 2013-2015 Clinical Research Fellow, University of Glasgow
  • 2015-to date Consultant Urologist, Barts Health and University College London Hospitals NHS Trusts
  • 2015-to date Clinical Senior Lecturer in Urology, Queen Mary University of London